Leptin concentrations in endometriosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Dimitrios Rafail Kalaitzopoulos*, Ioannis G. Lempesis, Nicolas Samartzis, Georgios Kolovos, Ioannis Dedes, Angelos Daniilidis, Konstantinos Nirgianakis, Brigitte Leeners, Dimitrios G. Goulis, Eleftherios Pierre Samartzis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Introduction: Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition, affecting mainly women of reproductive age. Leptin is a regulator of food intake and energy expenditure, posing pleiotropic actions, and regulating immunity and fertility. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding leptin concentrations in biological fluids and tissues of women with endometriosis, and to investigate and propose a possible role of leptin in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. Materials and methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted in two electronic databases (MEDLINE, COCHRANE) and grey literature for original research articles on humans, published in any language. . Results: Twenty-nine studies with 1291 women with endometriosis and 1664 controls were included in the systematic review. Peritoneal fluid and follicular fluid leptin concentrations were higher in endometriosis compared with control group [mean difference (MD) 7.10, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.76 to 9.44 ng/mL, 18 studies), (MD 1.35, 95 % CI 0.54 & ndash;2.17 ng/ml, 2 studies) respectively. No differences were evident in serum (MD 0.92, 95 % CI -0.84 to 2.68 ng/mL, 12 studies) or plasma (MD -0.95, 95 % CI -4.63 to 2.72 ng/mL, 3 studies) between the groups. No meta-analysis was conducted for ovarian tissue leptin (2 studies). Conclusions: This meta-analysis provided evidence for increased leptin concentrations in both peritoneal fluid and follicular fluid of women with endometriosis compared with control; these differences were not present in the serum or plasma. The above results support a potential pathophysiologic role for leptin in the local microenvironment while declines its use as a blood diagnostic marker. Furthermore, we propose a possible role of leptin in the pathophysiology of endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103338
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021




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